There's a UK Stag Company Promoting Crocodile Wrestling in Leather Mankinis
We decided, naturally, to ask a few questions...
Do you love marking notable milestones in your life by fighting animals? Then do we have news for you: StagWeb.com are now offering the chance for husbands-in-waiting to wrestle a crocodile on their stag do – while wearing a leather mankini.
WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE WORLD? WHY IS THIS A THING?
Where to start with this one. From the beginning, I guess.
I noticed an e-mail drop into my inbox earlier this week headed: “Stag parties fight live crocodiles". So obviously I’m going to be clicking on that.
Inside lay, well, a fairly in detail description of an event which accurately matched up to that aforementioned provocative subject matter. The opening two paragraphs?
“Leading stag party organisers StagWeb.co.uk have introduced the world's most terrifying stag weekend activity... Crocodile Wrestling.
"This amazing activity will see grooms dressed in leather mankinis go face to scaley face with prehistoric heavyweights. But this is no petting zoo, this is 'Stag vs Croc', a sporting contest that pits man against nature."
It was a lot to take in. This was actually a thing. I wanted to tell everyone in sight but the only sound I was able to produce was a high-pitched wail; a jumble of words along the lines of: “croca-wres-kini". So, in my fervour I copy and pasted the best bits of the press release to the rest of the team at Mpora instead, letting the copy do the talking for itself. As you’ll have noticed above, it’s certainly more than capable of doing so.
The immediate response looked a little bit (read identical to) this:
- Mpora Staffer 1: JESUS
- Mpora Staffer 2: That does not sound good.
- Mpora Staffer 1: NO.
- Mpora Stuart: WHAT THE FUCK.
- Mpora Staffer 1: This can’t be real.
- Mpora Stuart: CROCODILE WRESTLING. LEATHER MANKINIS. CROCA-WREST-KINI.
- Mpora Staffer 1: THIS CAN NOT BE REAL
But, to the amazement of all in the Mpora office – particularly Mpora Staffer 1 – the press release was indeed legitimate. We followed the link to the website and found ourselves deep in the world of stag-fuelled crocodile wrestling. And it only got more ridiculous. Here’s another direct quote:
“StagWeb's Kye Harman said “It's going to be a fantastic sporting challenge where grooms will learn real crocodile fighting techniques such as; Crocodiles cannot climb trees so grooms can use these as cover during the fight. Also crocodiles are very good swimmers so if they head into their pool, grooms shouldn't follow them as it's likely to be a trick."
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? ARE THEY EVER GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE WEDDING? It sounds like something you’d get if you crossed a parody of the ‘Final Destination’ franchise with classic ITV children’s game show ‘Jungle Run’.
Back to the event description, and we’re reading the words: “To give grooms a sporting chance, the arena has a number of tables, chairs and trees so he can get off the ground and away from those razor sharp teeth while looking for his next point scoring opportunity."
It sounds a little like they’re planning to just stick a few trees and a collection of furniture in some bloke’s back room, lock him in and leave him and the crocodile to it. “Don’t go into the conservatory for an hour Deborah, there’s a stag in there fighting a crocodile".
It turns out, rather, the grooms are challenged to beat the crocodile in a point-based contest, where they have 15 minutes to accumulate as many points as possible. One of the rules is that they get 10 points for everytime they touch the crocodiles teeth, which seems both outrageously ridiculous and incredibly uncomfortable for the crocodile.
Back at the website: “Grooms will be offered a choice of chainmail or a padded leather mankini to avoid getting any blood on their clothes as our crocs (named Ant and Dec) have been known to bite."
We needed to get in touch with the man behind this. So I began to type out some of the questions floating about Mpora HQ at the time, which to say the least, were numerous.
We quickly got on to the issue of animal cruelty. Was this above board? Where are they wrestling the crocodiles? Why are they wrestling the crocodiles? Are the crocodiles being mistreated? I got in touch with StagWeb to get to the bottom of the pressing issues.
On a less hard-hitting note, the question was also raised: do all the stags all wear the same leather mankini? How many leather mankinis do the crew have? Mpora Staffer 1 suggested asking: “At what temperature is the leather mankini washed?" to test the waters. Mpora Staffer 2 pointed out that we should add: “Asking for a friend."
In the end, my e-mail issued the must-ask questions head on:
Kye replied to my e-mail quickly himself. Though it must be said, he didn’t get off to a good start, what with my name being Stuart and all:
After accidentally calling me the wrong name and proceeding to acknowledge that yes, “it is kind of crazy" Kye proceeded to point out that his website also runs Hen Party Safaris, Bear Gryl’s Stag Survivors Weekends (possibly spelling Grylls wrong to avoid copyright?!) and went on to provide the following answers to my questions:
- Where do you wrestle the crocodiles? The crocodile wrestling takes place in special croc friendly enclosures. The activity is available in a number of UK locations.
- And how is this safe/not cruel on the crocodile? We have an experienced crocodile handler who looks after the crocodiles’ welfare which is of the utmost importance at all times (he is mentioned briefly in our page copy).
- And how is the stag's safety guaranteed? We work hard to minimise risk on all our activities whether it’s paintball or crocodile wrestling to ensure our groups have a safe enjoyable experience. However these are live animals so there is an element of risk.
- And why a leather mankini?! As for the leather mankini, well it seems cruel to both the groom and crocodile to make him do it naked.
He signed off with ‘Kind regards’, of course earning my forgiveness for his earlier ‘Steve’-related slip of the tongue/keyboard.
So, the crocodile wrestling is available around the UK, and is apparently safe for the crocodile, though we’re still 99% sure that the animal would rather not be spending its time chasing some dickhead in a leather mankini around an obstacle course, while said dickhead tries to grab its teeth. Sketchy.
Kye’s admittance that: “these are live animals so there is an element of risk" seems fair though – given that the stags WILL BE FIGHTING A LIVE CROCODILE.
…And as for the explanation for the leather mankini, well, that’s actually quite funny. But that doesn’t make it any less weird.
We’ll leave you with the closing terms and conditions, which read: “The event takes place at a private farm under the guidance of our trained professionals. Never attempt to wrestle crocodiles at your local zoo, they might not be ready for you and when startled can be incredibly dangerous.
“Disclaimer; All participants will be required to sign a waiver to acknowledge they are fighting of their own free will and that StagWeb and its partners cannot be held liable in the event of the loss of blood, limbs, life or any jewellery, glasses or contact lenses."
So if, for some reason unbeknown to us, you are considering trying out this animal travesty, remember to get your contact lenses insured first.